Adjunct Activist Says: Peralta Comm. College Union Claim of “Equal Pay for Equal Work” Contract for PTers is “Slick PR.”

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Editor: Wondering about the difference between pay equity and pay parity? Read “Parity” versus “Equity”: Why You Should Know the Diff, Bro.

by Keith Hoeller

Congratulations on a great press release! This is an extremely slick CFT/AFT piece of public relations claiming that the Peralta Community College union has achieved “Equal Pay for Equal Work” for its part-timers. The union has achieved nothing of the kind.  

The details indicate that the mixed unions (FT/PT) have once again redefined “equal pay for equal work” as meaning heavily discounted pay for part-timers. The reasoning, typical of the AFT nationally, appears to be that since part-timers allegedly do not do equal work to the full-timers, then they do not really deserve equal pay. Instead, they deserve “parity,” which is defined as the alleged percentage of a full-timers workload that is devoted solely to teaching.  

Elsewhere I have said that “Part-Time Faculty Pay is a Form of Wage Theft.”  

This way of treating teaching as piecemeal work is common in sweatshops and with the two-tier system. Of course it discounts the many facts about full-time pay:  

1. All Full-timers get to work a full-time load, while part-timers can only work 67%. (At least this is mentioned).  

2. All Full-timers get annual contracts, while part-timers rarely get more than term “contracts.”  

3. All Full-timers get year-round benefits worth from 30% to 50% above their full-time salaries. Health insurance alone averages $20K a year for each employee.  

4. All Full-timers get summers off with pay, worth another 33% above their salary.  

5. All Full-timers get paid sabbaticals.  

6. All Full-timers can earn even more with overloads, and many do.  

7. All Full-timers get their full annual salaries. If classes are cancelled, they bump part-timers.  

8. All Part-timers may have their classes cancelled and lose pay and cannot bump either full- or part-timers.  

9. All Full-timers get many valuable benefits including private offices, developmental funds, etc.  

So here are the details from the CFT/AFT press release that indicate that part-time pay at Peralta is pegged at 30 hours a week for a full-time workload for part-timers, but 40 hours a week for full-timers:  

“Adjunct and full-time salaries are broken down to an hourly rate. Part-time and full-time faculty are paid at the same hourly rate on the same step-and-column structure (experience and educational attainment), relative to the work they do (underscoring added). A full-time teaching load is 15 units, and with regard to teaching and prep, this represents 30 hours of a 40-hour full-time work week. For every unit a part-time faculty member teaches, they are paid at the exact same rate as the full-time faculty member.

But it doesn’t stop there. Full-time faculty are required to hold five hours of office hours a week. For adjuncts who choose to hold office hours, they are paid the same (up to two hours), pro-rated as full-time faculty.

There is still, of course, another five hours of work per week full-time faculty are required to do for ancillary activities like committee work, shared governance, program review, etc. Here Shanoski admits that, with the exception of specified stipends, adjuncts are not paid for this work, but then again, the local strongly discourages part-timers from taking on this work unless they volunteer — the local doesn’t want any adjuncts working for free.”  

The press release indicates that San Mateo is next, with pay parity set by the union at 85%.

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